This was our second visit to the cliffs at Bempton on the Yorkshire coast. Famous mainly for its huge sea bird colony of Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Puffins. However, there is more to the cliffs at this time of the year as we found out, if you step back from the cliff top footpath. In the meadows and hedgerows that lead down to the cliffs a number of our summer visitors were showing well as they were making claim to their territories.
Also their were reports of a Barn owl hunting over the rough meadow. On a visit one evening we found out it was in fact a pair nesting and feeding chicks, possibly in an old second world war building on the cliff tops.
As on our previous visit it was interesting to watch the behaviour of the Gannets, some still nest building, flying in with beaks full of material and presenting it to their mate. Whilst others stretched their necks and clicked beaks against each other as they performed their elaborate greeting ceremony. Great opportunities to get shots of them both in fight and on the cliffs.
Puffins,Guillemots & Razorbills
The number of Puffins seem to be down from our previous visit. This may be a sign that the food supply in this area of the North Sea is suffering. But on a closer inspection of one section of the cliff we did find a number of Puffins on the ledges and in the rock crevices.
They were using these instead of the more traditional burrows, a behaviour that the Puffins have adopted here. One of the crevices which seem to be home to a number of adults also contained a well developed chick. The Razorbills and Guillemot population are obviously not suffering as they seemed to be everywhere fighting for every available ledge.
Bempton Cliffs definitely an excellent place to visit and an almost guaranteed opportunity to capture some first class images of a mainland sea bird colony. As well as birds in flight.